Writers Spotlight | E.J. Batiste


E.J. Batiste is a writer, poet, playwright, and artist originally from Raeford, NC. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. Her creative work has appeared in various literary publications in North America and Europe.

Green Light

She watched the rain droplets roll slanted across her passenger side window. Her wife stared silently at the road as she drove them home from an evening filled with laughs. It had been fake guffaws, smiles, and small talk. Three hours of introducing her coworkers to her wife and being introduced to their spouses. The room was filled with quartz pressed into the shape of diamonds and faux marble pillars. The echo did nothing to help the nauseatingly sweet salutations of the coworkers. She had a terrible headache. Christmas parties were always the worst. The gift-giving just for giving’s sake. The tacky Christmas sweaters. The small two-percent bonus that her boss excitedly gave them as if upper management hadn’t received a huge raise just months before. She hated the spectacle and the pretending of it all. Her wife, ever the trooper, had put on a smile with the best of them. She hated that most of all.

The car ride was quiet, but neither of them seemed to mind it. The air around them seemed stuck in stagnation. She continued to watch the drizzling rain dizzily glide against their car. Her wife looked out at the cross-traffic. The car stood still at a red light. A car horn beeped from behind them just as the light was turning green. Her wife sat at the light for an extra moment and then pushed on towards home.

She said, “Our marriage is over.” Her wife said, “I know.”

About Green Light:

Green Light is a fictional story of a lesbian couple that has spent much time navigating their relationship and has finally come to a very clear decision after a night spent at a Holiday party.   

Nuit Noire

It’s a story as old as time. Virginia stubbed her big toe on the very last stair. The pain was dull yet alerting. It reminded her of the many times that her mother had reminded her to watch her step as she came home from school to a living room littered with canvases and rubble from her mother’s latest manic episode. Virginia had learned to heed her mother’s words, or so she had thought. It was just that it was dark, and she was in a hurry, trying her best to keep up with the woman escorting her to the proper location. ‘Should I even be going?’ Virginia thought to herself.

Almost like an immediate answer, Virginia turned to look behind her and noticed the female bodyguard was following them. She hadn’t noticed her, maybe because though she was a large woman with tall broad shoulders, she moved quietly and daintily on her feet. Virginia now knew that she couldn’t leave even if she wanted; that bodyguard could snap her like a twig.

It felt odd to be meeting in a club. It made her feel as if this were a scene from the movies and she, the stupid but well-meaning nitwit, was being willfully led to her doom. The pain in her toe was no longer dull yet alerting, it was now sharp and intense. It felt possibly broken, but Virginia was too afraid to limp. She attempted to saunter on in agony. This again reminded her of her mother and the manic episodes. Her mother would sometimes attempt to throw herself off high places, once leaping from the top of their refrigerator in an odd crouch. Her left wrist slamming to the floor upon impact, though her mother carried on for hours as if she still had use of both of her hands.

The club stank of warm bodies. Sweating, lustful, desperate warm bodies. It was a stark contrast to the cold solemn winter night occurring just outside of the building’s door.

Everything was black. The lighting, the clothes, the floor. Everywhere Virginia looked, there was darkness as the techno music pulsated her eardrums. This would be the tale that she would one day tell her future children when they asked about her pure white left cornea and the scar underneath her right eye, but she knew nothing of that in this moment.

Just as Virginia caught up to her escort and thought to ask how much farther, she felt a sharp blow to the back of her head. She tasted blood and saw quick flashes of light behind her eyes as they slowly rolled shut. Like Alice, she had found her way down a rabbit hole.

About Nuit Noire:

Nuit Noire is a fictional short-short story of a woman finding her way in a world in which she is very unsure of. 

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